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Hello and welcome, reader! You are about to embark on a long journey to learning the role of the Marksman, also known as the AD Carry. You can expect this guide to cover every little detail in regards to playing this role successfully, and why these choices work to your advantage.
This guide is set up in a way so that it will shift from game knowledge (what items to get, what runes and masteries benefit you the most, decision making in all phases of the game) to actual gameplay (mechanics like orb-walking, positioning, controlling the creep wave). It will also chronologically move from the very start of the game (champion select) and then lead itemization and goals during the laning phase and teamfights.
Anyone who has ever seen any of my guides before, you might notice a couple differences.
It is just as long as all of my others, if not longer LOL.
I did not use quite as much artwork in this one as my others. I am still working on this. Since the layout of this guide is quite different than what I have written before, images are harder to fit in with the scheme I've got going.
This is a general ADC guide. While I do in-depth what an ADC's role is/what they build, every champion and every game is different. This guide is for helping those who wish to learn the role of ADC as a whole, not just a single individual champion.
Also, these are some fantastic resources for you to visit if you want to learn more.
If you are new to the game League of Legends, I would recommend reading The All Tomato's guide, The Essentials, to better understand of the terminology used throughout this guide.
PhRoXzOn's LeagueCraft 101 lectures, which can be found on YouTube. I will openly admit that the majority of the gameplay information in this guide was taken from this particular resource. If you want more visual explanations, I highly recommend you hop on over and check out his videos!
WHAT IS AN AD CARRY?
Well, if we were to go by the League of Legends Wiki: "An Attack Damage Carry is a ranged attacker that sacrifices defensive power and utility to focus on dealing strong, continuous damage to individual targets. Typically focused on using their basic attacks more than their abilities, marksmen have the capability to scale and deal out devastating levels of damage in the late phase of any game."
In simpler terms, an ADC builds almost purely damage items to deal large amounts of damage over a long period of time. They are exorbitantly very weak at the beginning of the game, but progressively get stronger as more time in the game passes. Instead of spamming their abilities (Q, W, E, or R), ADCs utilize their enhanced Auto Attacks to deal their damage. Of course, their skills can be weaved in between, but the majority of their damage is focused in their basic attacks.
Just for clarification, in this guide I will be primarily talking about the Marksman, which is the ranged form of an AD Carry.Divatox brought up a very important point, that an AD Carry can be both ranged ( Caitlyn, Lucian, Ashe) and melee ( Master Yi, Tryndamere). Thank you for bringing that up! Both deal lots of damage through autoattacks, but their role in teamfights is extremely different. If you want more information on Melee AD Carries, feel free to have a look around here on MOBAFire! :)
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION DESCRIPTIONS
There are many different types of AD Carries. There are those that can gain lane dominance through their large amount of poke. There are those that rely on their abilities more compared to others. There are those that have quite a bit of burst damage and also those who do well in extended skirmishes. Click on the champion's face to read a brief description of the playstyle of each individual.
Ashe is a long ranged ADC who has a kit with a lot of built in CC. With her almost permanent slow on Frost Shot and a global stun on Enchanted Crystal Arrow, she is a very team oriented champion. While her early game damage is lacking, she makes up for it with her late game kiting potential and utility.
Caitlyn has the longest range in the game and is known as the lane bully of bot lane. This is because her long range can attack you from a distance, but in addition to that she has a skill set that can poke and prod and apply huge amounts of pressure with Piltover Peacemaker. However, her aggressive playstyle often invites the enemy team for ganks.
Corki functions as an ADC who also relies on weaving abilities in between autoattacks for the maximum possible damage. He has a good amount of burst with his Phosphorus Bomb and can essentially double attack with his Missile Barrage. His time to shine in is the mid game, but he falls off slightly late game as compensation.
Draven is an ADC that revolves around one of his abilities: Spinning Axe. His damage output is one of the highest of all ADCs provided that he is not shut down. His playstyle requires heavy mechanics and knowledge of Attack Moving, so he can be quite difficult for beginners. Also, he can be hard to use against teams with a lot of CC.
Ezreal is versatile ADC that is a safe pick due to his wide array of abilities. He has a safe early game due to his long harass from his Mystic Shot and has exceptional mobility with Arcane Shift. However, he has a distinct weakness in trading with autoattacks, so trading with minions or low mana can be detrimental.
Graves is an ADC who has a lot of burst damage and tankiness when compared to other marksmen. In addition, he has mobility with Quickdraw and utility with Smoke Screen. His primary shortcoming is his extremely low range, which can make laning difficult against higher ranged carries, as well as complicating his positioning in teamfights.
Jayce is more often played in the mid or lane, but there is a small playerbase that play him as an AD Carry. While his range is lacking, he has a lot of long ranged burst from his abilities. Since he also has a melee form, he needs to be built with a little extra survivability, in contrast to most ADCs building pure damage.
Jinx is one of the most popular ADCs due to her large amounts of Damage per Second (DPS) and wave clearing ability, both available through her Switcheroo! She also has a global presence through Super Mega Death Rocket! On the downside, she has no reliable escape mechanism and 3 out of 4 of her abilities can be dodged due to them being skill shots.
Kog'Maw is what is known as a Hyper Carry, due to him having a huge late game presence. He can easily kill even the tankiest champions through his bio arcane barrage. His early game is very weak, but he makes up for it during the Mid-Game, after he has completed Trinity Force. His laning phase after 6 is amongst the strongest in the game.
Lucian is another highly favored ADC due to a combination of his mobility through Relentless Pursuit and his high amount of damage with Lightslinger. His weakness lies in his very short range and very high skill cap. The utilization of his kit is what differentiates between the good and the great.
Miss Fortune's best features lie in her increased attack speed and grievous wounds through Impure Shots, and her ultimate Bullet Time which synergizes extremely well with other AOE CC abilities. However, Miss Fortune does not a gap closer, making her weak against assassins, and she lacks an extremely strong late game.
Quinn is known for her strong lane phase, but weak late game and turret siege phase. She is also different from most ADCs because her ultimate shifts her into a bird form, which is melee. Not only that, her ranged form still has a relatively short range. This makes her more of a Bruiser than an AD Carry, but she can still fit the role just fine.
Sivir is a ADC who is known for her large wave clear abilities with Boomerang Blade and Ricochet, making her one of the best pushers in the game. She also is in possession of a spell shield, which can help her avoid bad situations. However, she is very mana hungry if you spam her abilities, and she is one of the shortest ranged carries in the game.
Tristana's late game range is one of the longest in the game. Added in with her mobility from Rocket Jump, she can be near unkillable. She has an attack speed steroid and a grievous wounds application, making her very effective against enemy ADCs. However, her Rocket Jump has a very long cooldown at early levels, making her very vulnerable when it's down.
Twitch is an ADC who excels mid and late game, where he can contribute to teamfights with his ultimate, rat-ta-tat-tat, which can hit many targets at once. In addition to that, he is an excellent dueler, because of Deadly Venom and Contaminate combining to deal a lot of burst damage. However, he lacks an escape and relies on his team protecting him in fights.
Urgot is one of the most underplayed champions in the entire game of LoL, but can be effective in the right team compositions. His Noxian Corrosive Charge and Acid Hunter can hurt a lot, but also costs a lot of mana when spammed. He is not nearly as far ranged as ADCs like Ashe or Caitlyn, so he is built with a mix of tankiness as well.
Varus is a versatile AD Carry who has a kit that combines poke, burst, and CC. His Piercing Arrow has a huge range and can chunk enemies from far away in combination with Blighted Quiver. He has a team oriented ultimate, Chain of Corruption, which can lock down many different targets for his team to follow up on.
Vayne is another Hyper Carry that can destroy teams when fed. She is extremely mobile with Tumble, and can shred tanks and squishies alike with Silver Bolts. Vayne is arguably one of the best duelers in the game with the invisibility from her Final Hour, and can chase down fleeing targets with ease. However, her early game is probably the worst of all ADCs.
The generic rune page for an AD Carry is one that has offensive stats like Attack Damage and Attack Speed, as well as some defense like Magic Resist and Health. Different types of marksman can make use of different runes (such as mana regen or crit chance), but these are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage are your go to marks as an AD Carry. They are pretty much the only choice you would take, since the alternatives aren't all that great. These make last hitting much easier (especially if you're pushed under tower) and can give you an edge when trading in 2v2 situations. Also, most marksman have AD scalings on their abilities, so these will make those stronger as well.
Greater Mark of Critical Chance can be a real gamechanger when taking a single one of these instead of an AD Mark. While a single point of Attack Damage won't make much of a difference, a single critical strike in a trade can win the fight and give you the advantage for the rest of the laning phase.
Greater Seal of Health and Greater Seal of Armor are some of the best defensive seals you can get. By taking 5 health seals plus 4 armor seals, they provide a lot of tankiness for both trading and all-ins. The armor will increase the effectiveness of the health, just as the health will increase the effectiveness of the armor. This mixture is extremely effective against enemy ADCs in particular, because they will be dealing mostly physical damage.
Also, as Foxy Riven discovered: "It seems that a 5 health/4 armor setup is superior at the very early stages of the game, until your champion has 850 health. From this moment, armor seals become superior. They provide more effective Health Potions and mitigate AD damage from the enemy. The downside is that most supports deal AP damage and armor doesn't help you there. However, there's the MR Glyphs for that."
Greater Seal of Scaling Health are an alternative to the flat health you get from the standard seals. They outscale them at level 7, so these can be good alternatives for late game. However, runes are primarily to keep you safe early game, and by taking scaling you are are sacrificing survivability for level pre-6 trades (which are better for early game champions like Caitlyn).
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist are the usual glyphs you want to run, because most supports deal a good amount of magic damage even if they aren't building damage. These also come in handy if the enemy jungler is magic damage based. Later on you'll have to deal with the enemy AP Carry and these will nullify some of their damage.
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration These are only viable if you are playing a mana hungry champion like Caitlyn or Ezreal that requires you to spam abilities to assert dominance in lane. Even then, take a combination of 6 Magic Resist Glyphs and 3 Mana Regen so you won't be too squishy.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction are actually what the Pro Players are taking on AD Casters like Lucian. This is because they rely more on cooldown than in comparison to other ADCs. Having the additional CDR will help them use more abilities, and thus deal more damage. Alternatively, you can take Scaling CDR Glyphs as well.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage added along with the rest of your AD runes will give your early game damage a nice boost. This can give you an edge in early game trading, as well make last hitting much easier. Usually you want to take a combination of 2 AS quints and 1 AD quint. The reason why you take a combination of Attack Speed and Attack Damage quints is because the AS quints increase the effectiveness of the AD by letting you autoattack more in a shorter period of time.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed were buffed and give lots of early game trading potential with the 4.5% Attack Speed buff for each quint. In addition, since they're percentage based, they scale quite nicely into late game as well. The smoother attack animation can help you with orb walking and kiting (more about these mechanics will be explained in the gameplay section).
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal are still viable on certain AD Carries that need the sustain more than the attack speed early game. Even though they were nerfed, they stack really well with the new Life Steal bonus on Doran's blade.
Greater Quintessence of Armor is a defensive option. Taking a single one instead of an AD Quint can give you a little bit of extra early game tankiness against high burst champions like Graves or lane bullies like Caitlyn. These will take away some of your overall damage, but can be worth it if you know you'll be pressured a lot in lane.
All AD Carries take 21 points into the offense tree, because their role requires them to have as much offensive power as they can. However, the points within this tree can differ from champion to champion. The remaining 9 points are often placed in the defense tree for survivability. But like with offense, there are situations where utility can be more useful.
Feast will help you with last hitting during laning phase as well as providing some sustain, both making the farming process easier in the early game.
Dangerous Game are for helping you pull off plays and managing to get away with that tiny sliver of health.
In the defensive tree, you take
Unyielding for the damage reduction. 1-2 damage really might not seem like much, but over a period of 10 minutes it can really stack up.
Recovery is a better mastery because it helps you through all stages of the game, and you don't build much defense anyways, making
Enchanted Armor a useless mastery on all AD Carries.
Veteran Scars and
Juggernaut increase all of your health, which works really nicely with your runes.
MANA REGENERATION 21/6/3
The offense tree is the exact same as that of the Standard 21/9/0 page, where you take the masteries that increase your DPS, damage, and play making opportunities. In addition, you also take 6 points into defense, to give you some nice early game survivability.
The difference lies in the 3 points that are now put into the Utility Tree. Taking points in
Meditation can help with mana hungry champions like Sivir, Ezreal, Caitlyn, etc. While the 3 mana back per 5 seconds may not seem like much, it can be enough to cast a few extra abilities before you're forced to recall.
LOWER SUMMONER SPELL COOLDOWN 21/2/7
Another rendition on the Mana Rengeration page, except you take another 4 points from the defense tree so you can get
Summoner's Insight . This option is especially good on champions with no escape ability, since it will lower the cooldown of Flash significantly. Champions such as Jinx, Draven, and Varus can benefit from both the mana regen and the summoner cooldowns.
BLADE WEAVING 21/9/0
This time, we keep the 9 points in defensive the same, but change up the offensive tree a little bit. Instead of taking 2 points into
Warlord , putting those two into
Spell Weaving and
Blade Weaving is extremely effective on AD Casters like Kog'Maw and Corki. This is because these champions weave their abilities in between auto attacks, and these masteries makes their respective partners more powerful.
All champions, roles, and players will have the choice between 2 summoner spells, which you choose during Champion Select before the game even begins. For an ADC, the optimal summoners are limited. The combination in which you take them, as well as what summoner spells your support takes, all must be taken into account.
Flash is arguably the most valuable Summoner Spell you will most likely ever take. On ADCs in particular, this summoner is essential. It allows you to reposition yourself in duels or teamfights, blink to safety if the enemy team is collapsing on you, make epic plays by
dodging important skill shots, or flashing over terrain to lose any chasing enemies. Flash has so many uses, it is simply not worth giving up for any other spell.
Heal is the second most likely spell you will take as an ADC. It heals you and a nearby ally for a good amount and also provides a small movement speed bonus. The health also stays longer than a 2 second increment (compared to Barrier). Since you are an ADC in a
duo lane with your support, this summoner can easily turn the tides of any trade. In individual skirmishes, this can help you kite. In teamfights, it can buy you enough time for your team to come to your aid.
Cleanse is a good choice to pick up if the enemy has a whole bunch of CC. If you have fast enough reflexes, using this summoner spell as soon as you are locked down will help you escape any potential sticky situations. Against people like Leona, Amumu, Morgana, even Ashe, it can help you a lot.
In certain situations, taking Barrier may be more beneficial than taking Heal. While it does not give a speed boost, nor does it help out an ally, it overall shields for more health. Also, the fact that it is a shield, not a healing spell, it will not be affected by a grievous
In addition to this, your support can now carry Heal instead. While you lose out on Exhaust, this combo can work exceptionally well against all-in teams comps. I would only recommend this in Draft Pick, where you know that the enemy doesn't have someone that needs to be shut down by CC (like Master Yi or Tryndamere for example).
Another option would be to have your support carry Heal and you, as the ADC, carry the Exhaust. This can be a pretty strong option on carries who have no real escapes and therefore are forced to fight whoever engages on them.
Also, knowing how to take advantage of the summoner spells your support takes can be very helpful in the long run as well. For example, if you see that your support has taken Exhaust, you know that every 3 minutes, you can force a fight where your support can render the enemy ADC useless for 2.5 seconds. Vice versa, if you see that the enemy support has taken Exhaust, you know that every 3 minutes they will have a spell to make you useless. If you learn to time summoner spells like this, you can make decisions regarding whether or not it's worth it going for the kill.
Each ADC has a slightly different playstyle, and thus a slightly different build. However, when narrowed down, there are 3 main build paths that all of these combinations boil down to. To clarify what each build is, we call the build by the "First Item" Rush. So, the three builds we will talk about are the Infinity Edge rush, Blade of the Ruined King Rush, and the Trinity Force Rush. In this section in particular, we will talk about the starting items and what components of the item to get first.
The bread and butter start for every marksman. It outclasses the Long Sword + 3 Health Potion start since provides equal sustain in terms of Life Steal. It also provides tankiness (the HP) and the damage difference is negligible. While it doesn't build into anything, this start gives you all of the necessary early game stats needed for farming and trading. Finally, pick up a Warding Totem to help your support with vision coverage.
Ideally on your first recall, you want to have more than 1550 gold so that you can straight out buy B. F. Sword. This item gives you an insane amount of AD, which makes farming a lot easier, as well as give you a huge advantage in trades and fights. However, there are circumstances that might push you out of lane before you can farm enough gold for this. For example, you were ganked by the jungler and you're too low to stay in lane afterwards.
If this happens and you're sitting on enough gold to get Pickaxe as well as some extra health potions, I would recommend going ahead and getting that item. While it doesn't provide as much of a powerspike when compared to B. F. Sword, it can still make farming/trading a little easier. If you don't have enough for additional sustain, getting another Doran's Blade for the sustain, survivability, and extra AD can be more useful than the flat 25 attack damage.
BLADE OF THE RUINED KING RUSH(Corki, Ezreal, Lucian, Quinn, Twitch, Vayne)
"The bread and butter start for every marksman. It outclasses the Long Sword + 3 Health Potion start since provides equal sustain in terms of Life Steal. It also provides tankiness (the HP) and the damage difference is negligible. While it doesn't build into anything, this start gives you all of the necessary early game stats needed for farming and trading. Finally, pick up a Warding Totem to help your support with vision coverage."
On an attack speed reliant ADC, rushing Blade of the Ruined King is often core, so on your first buy you want to get Bilgewater Cutlass. It is the primary component item for BotRK, and provides you with a nice active that will help you lock down kills. In addition, gives a good amount of AD that comes with sustain.
It costs 1400 gold, so there are times where you probably won't be able to get immediately. In these cases, pick up Vampiric Scepter for the AD and sustain. It is 600 gold cheaper, so it would be a good goal to aim for if you're not doing too great in lane.
TRINITY FORCE RUSH(Corki, Ezreal, Kog'Maw, Lucian)
"The bread and butter start for every marksman. It outclasses the Long Sword + 3 Health Potion start since provides equal sustain in terms of Life Steal. It also provides tankiness (the HP) and the damage difference is negligible. While it doesn't build into anything, this start gives you all of the necessary early game stats needed for farming and trading. Finally, pick up a Warding Totem to help your support with vision coverage."
The items on the left are the component items to rush into Trinity Force. Picking up Phage will give you mobility, as well as additional trading power. The 200 health increment will help in longer skirmishes, and can easily be enough health to save you life if the enemy jungler/mid laner comes to gank your lane. For some ADC and support combos though, taking Sheen first can help with bursting and faster killing.
On champions like Ezreal or Corki, who can weave in abilities like Mystic Shot or Missile Barrage, Sheen's total damage is especially good. If you're ahead, get Sheen just because the damage increase is absolutely massive. Finally, just finish the entire item by buying Zeal -> Trinity Force, since it only takes 3 additional gold to combine all three items.
This is where the build paths really start to diverge from each other. Leading on from the early game purchases, each build path incorporates synergies between items and individual champion strengths and weaknesses. In this section, I will discuss the items most often bought as well as provide the reasoning behind the separate choices.
INFINITY EDGE RUSH
As implied by the name, you want to get Infinity Edge as soon as you possibly can. This is because of the massive AD boost (80) and the critical chance (25%). In addition to that, the critical strikes themselves deal additional damage. It also synergizes exceptionally well with Statikk Shiv/ Phantom Dancer. Together they provide very reliable crit chance as well as more attack speed, which gives overall a whole lot of DPS. Last for your core items you have Last Whisper. While it doesn't provide much pure AD, the armor penetration makes it extremely effective against tanky and squishy opponents alike.
BLADE OF THE RUINED KING RUSH
For Attack Speed reliant AD Carries, Blade of the Ruined King is an item that benefits them quite a bit. It provides a lot of DPS, as well as a whole lot of kiting potential with the active. In addition to those, BotRK is extremely effective against tanks because of the percent health damage. Adding onto that, Youmuu's Ghostblade works magnificently with BotRK. It provides even more DPS, even more kiting potential, and a good amount of armor penetration, making tanks (and squishies) even weaker against you. Rounding off, you have Infinity Edge, which gives more instant burst on your autoattacks.
TRINITY FORCE RUSH
For AD Carries that fall under the category of Casters (champions who use their abilities along with their basic attacks) can make use of Trinity Force extremely well. Weaving in spells will basic attacking can proc the Sheen passive, allowing for some major burst. To increase DPS on casters, you have Blade of the Ruined King, which gives additional attack speed for smoother attack animations (added on with Zeal and Phage, kiting is a breeze). Finally, like with the BotRK Rush, Infinity Edge is the last of these core items for more burst for independent autos.
Finally, I will round off the itemization explanations with Alternative item choices. Every game is different, so you can't really expect all builds to be the exact same. Plus, core items are not the only part of the build you have. While ADCs are extremely weak in terms of defense, they will almost always have a defensive item by late game to make sure they don't die immediately during teamfights. In addition to Core and Defensive items, you have Trinkets and Enchantments to add as well.
BLOODTHIRSTER VS BLADE OF THE RUINED KING (INFINITY EDGE RUSH)
Bloodthirster is great if you're not facing high HP targets because it increases your survivability, turret damage, crit damage and duelling potential in mid/late game. It is also good if you need flat damage, because the 80 AD benefits your abilities in addition to your auto attack itself. It also gives massive amounts of Life Steal, so it can also be an option on short-ranged carries who need the survivability in close quarters.
Blade of the Ruined King gives a lot more DPS because of the Attack Speed bonus. It is also is much more effective against tanky teams because of the percent health passive. It also gives a whole lot of kiting potential because the active slows a target's movement speed. This is for the ADCs who rely on attack speed for more auto attacks and wouldn't benefit from the raw AD of Bloodthirster.
DEFENSIVE ITEMS (ALL 3 BUILD PATHS)
There are 3 main defensive items that are viable on ADCs. Banshee's Veil has become ADC's goto defensive item because it provides a large chunk of health, 55 MR, and a spell shield against long range skill shots. The passive is really nice because the current top tier champions have important skill shots to land ( Dark Binding, Death Sentence, Solar Flare). The shield will prevent you from getting caught out.
However against certain team comps, either Mercurial Scimitar or Guardian Angel can be more useful. Against teams with a lot of CC, the active on Mercurial can get you out from what would be a fatal 2 second stun. In addition, it provides a good chunk of extra damage on top of the defensive stats. You can get Quicksilver Sash early game, and not upgrade it until later, letting you have the cleanse, but you won't be sacrificing damage. Alternatively, if the enemy has a lot of AD, Guardian Angel provides you with a solid amount of armor in addition to a revive passive.
STATIKK SHIV VS PHANTOM DANCER
Statikk Shiv doesn't give quite as much DPS because of the 10% lower attack speed and crit chance, but it has a lightning proc that synergizes well with bursty ADCs. When compared over a period of 10 seconds PD provides the most overall damage output, but SS gives you an earlier powerboost, as well as good waveclear. However, it falls off late game because you don't have any magic penetration to make the lightning proc as useful, and the overall DPS through Attack Speed and Crit Chance isn't as high as Phantom Dancer
Phantom Dancer provides more DPS because of the additional attack speed and critical strike chance. Because of this, it is better for late game teamfights, where you need to dishing out the most amount of damage you possibly can. However, it costs more, so it can delay your power spike if you don't have enough gold. If it ever gets to the point of extremely late game, selling Statikk Shiv for this item will increase your DPS by quite a bit.
FINALIZING YOUR BUILD
In addition to upgrading your trinket, you can upgrade Tier 2 boots, Berserker's Greaves, to Tier 3: Enchantments. There are 4 primary ones that are especially good on an ADC. Enchantment: Alacrity allows you to position before a fight and dodge skillshots, which is essential because of your squishiness. Enchantment: Furor helps with kiting, as it gives you a small speed boost every time you auto attack. Whether you're chasing a fleeing target or repositioning yourself in teamfights, the boost will help you a lot.
For AD Carries that have no escape, Enchantment: Distortion is a good choice because it lowers the cooldown of your Flash significantly. This allows for more playmaking opportunities, more escape potential, etc. Finally, there is one more enchantment that is good to buy on anyone, to be honest. Enchantment: Homeguard is probably the most bought enchantment. It gives you a huge speed boost for a couple seconds and can be used to protect your base.
Come late game, as an ADC it is extremely, ridiculously, horrifically dangerous to facecheck a suspicious bush. If you get caught, you will most likely burn essential summoners, any item actives/passives, and in the worst case scenario: your life. To counteract this, taking Farsight Orb will help you scout almost any area of the map you have no vision of.
Having a scouting tool every minute and a half is extremely useful for late game, not only for not facechecking bushes, but also for keeping an eye on objectives. For example, if your team has no vision on Baron Nashor and the entire enemy team is missing, that's a pretty good sign that they're trying to get Baron. Farsight Orb can confirm whether this is true or not.
Also, another option instead of getting Enchantments is to switch your boots for Zephyr. This is especially helpful if you're going against heavy CC teams, where the tenacity can really come into play. However, you can get it in other situations as well. Due to the 25 AD and 50% Attack Speed, it increases your DPS by a huge margin. You're also not losing very much movement speed from it either, since the 10x movement multiplier gives you almost as much as Berserker's Greaves.
Now let's get fancy. So far in this guide, you have learned what an ADC is, how to set up your champion, and what to build on him/her. Now, we will discuss the actual gameplay, or how to play your champion to maximum possible efficiency. There are many different things that you need to be able to do/keep track of in just the first 15 minutes of the game (also known as Laning Phase).
Knowing how to last hit correctly is one of the most important (if not the most important) skill you can have as an ADC. This includes last hitting while pushing the lane, last hitting while freezing the lane, last hitting while being pushed under tower, last hitting when you're in danger of being zoned, etc. Knowing how to get farm under any of these circumstances is essential to you as an AD Carry being able to do well in later phases of the game.
A good goal to have by the 10 minute mark is about 100 CS, but can be very difficult to actually hit. This gets increasingly difficult against enemy lane bullies (Caitlyn, Lulu, Zyra) because focusing on farming correctly while simultaneously worrying about taking damage is very hard to do. Many lower ELO players will easily be able to hit 80-90 minions by the 10 minute mark when under no pressure at all. However, as soon as you add in an enemy that knows how to pressure, their CS drops down to low 30-40s.
HOW TO GET BETTER
One way to improve this skill is by simply opening up a custom game and farm for 10 minutes straight. See how far you get! If you can hit 80 CS by 10 minutes, try doing it without any items/runes/masteries. If you're still doing well, add an intermediate bot (Don't go and kill them. They're supposed to be there as a distraction.) If you can still get 80 CS at 10 minutes, then your last hitting skills are at least that of High Silver/Low Gold.
If you want even more of a challenge, ask a couple friends to help you out. Have them play as an early game dominant enemy ADC/Support. While you're trying to last hit, have them pressure you and try to distract you. This will simulate the worst case scenario in a real game, where you are in a 1v2 situation against 2 lane bullies. If you can learn to farm under these circumstances, then you will be easily be able to do so in normals/ranked.
Hitting a minion too early/too late
This is not something that is easily fixed. Timing your attack correctly only comes with a combination of intuition (The creep is low, but is it low enough?) and practice (I've done this before. I know that if I hit it now, I won't kill it.) It also takes knowledge of the champion you are playing. For example, someone like Caitlyn might have an easier time last hitting because her high base damages, but someone else like Ashe might have a bit of a harder time because of her weak early game.
Going for 2 minions at once
This problem just boils down to decision making. I have seen many people make this mistake when they see 2 low health minions at once. So they panic and auto attack one of them without any regard to which one they to hit first, then end up missing both of them. Instead, slow down and think. Identify which creep is dying faster (Hmm, this minion has 3 enemy creeps attacking it and the other one is only being focused by one.) and kill the one that is dying faster.
Using AOE abilities to hit random minions
As a general rule, you don't want to spam your AOE abilities too much or you'll go out of mana/push the wave too quickly. Another major reason why you don't want to use your abilities too often is because you can incorrectly soften (lower the health of) a minion, which in turn leads to you missing a lot of CS. Only use your abilities to get CS if you know for a fact that you won't be able to get it otherwise. Your skill usage can be much better spent poking or trading.
If you do need to quickly push the lane, use your AOE ability after you have softened the minion wave. For example, if you're playing Ashe: Hit all of the minions a couple times so they're all very low. Then, with a single Volley you can clear all of them at once. This pushes the lane quickly and efficiently, without you needing to waste additional mana.
Not CSing under tower effectively
Learning how to last hit under turret can be very difficult if you don't know how, and sometimes even requires help from your support. The only way to get the maximum number of minions while under tower is if you waste the tower shot. This means that you let the turret focus on a minion, but you kill the minion before the tower does.
Of course, before you do this, you must soften the minion so that the tower will not kill it outright. Melee minions can take 2 tower shots and still live, whereas Caster minions can only take 1. So, if you need to get the melee minions, wait for the to shoot at it twice, and then it will be low enough for you to kill. Caster minions are a bit harder because even if the turret hits it, it won't be low enough for you to kill outright. So, you must hit the Caster minion before the tower, then let the tower attack it, and then hit it again.
What is Lane Momentum? As the name suggests, Lane Momentum is you as the ADC being able to control the minion wave and being able to swing that momentum in your favor. For example, you build a large wave of minions on your side; This makes it extremely difficult for the enemy ADC/Support to 2v2 you because you have all of the minion damage on top of your own.
These are the 3 primary parts of the lane. The Safe Zone is where you are closer to your own tower than you are to the enemy's. It is named this way because it is very difficult for the jungler to gank you while you are in this position. The Neutral Zone is where the opposite sides meet. There is equal likeliness of the jungler ganking because both parties are equally distanced from their respective towers. Finally, there is the Danger Zone, where you are pushed to the enemy tower.
Judging from this picture alone, it would seem reasonable to always try to stay in the Safe Zone, right? Well, this isn't always the case. If you watch high ELO ADC streams, they will almost always push the lane. Do I mean constantly shoving directly into tower? Maybe for early game level advantages. But in general, pushing too quickly won't do much because the enemy ADC can just farm safely under tower using the previously discussed techniques. Pushing the lane while simultaneously letting the enemy creeps soften your own is much more effective so they'll have varying health bars when they reach the tower.
By pushing a lane, you can deny experience and cs. That's especially important if finishing a turret. You can deny an entire wave by letting the turret killing the minions and taking the last hit from the turret once all the minions die. This tactic can cause the enemy ADC/Support to lose massive amounts of gold.
Also while using this method, a giant wave of minions will begin to build up. This gives you yet another advantage when trading, because minion damage hurts a lot. If the enemy decides to engage against you, all the minions on your side will automatically switch targets to them. In the image on the right, you can see how Vayne has 9 minions on her side, but Miss Fortune only has 5. Also, notice how all of the minions have different health bars. Can you imagine how hard it would be to get perfect CS?
REASONS FOR PUSHING THE LANE
Getting a higher level for advantages in trades
One reason is to get a level advantage. When you push the lane, you are essentially making the enemy's minions die faster than yours. When the minions die, they give all nearby allies some experience. If the enemy minions are dying faster, then you get experience faster. Pushing for a fast level 2/level 6 can be extremely helpful: trading while you have an additional ability and more base health/mana than the enemy team will easily give you an advantage.
Most of the time, the side that has the level advantage will win that trade. If taken advantage of, this will give them lane dominance for nearly the entire laning phase. This is because by engaging in a trade where you have the advantage, you can force the enemy bot lane to burn important summoner spells (which won't be available for another 4-5 minutes) or even just outright kill them.
For example, in this example on the right, you can see that the Varus and the Thresh are both level 2, whereas Ezreal and Sona are only level 1. Varus immediately goes up to to attack, with Thresh very close behind him. Both parties in this situation know that Thresh has both a Death Sentence and Flay, whereas Ezreal has no escape and Sona has no heal. From the moment that Varus pushed forward for the trade, Ezreal was dead.
If you see in the next picture, look at just how low both Ezreal and Sona got. Not only that, Sona had burned Exhaust and she and Ezreal both Flashed. And all of that was simply because Varus and Thresh pushed early for the level advantage, and then they made a play using that advantage.
You can generate huge amounts of pressure across the map
By forcing 2 people to have a hard time keeping up (as opposed to top/mid lane, where if you zone you only affect one person), you draw the jungler's attention away from the rest of the map. If they're constantly at bot lane, then they can't possibly be ganking other lanes (because you know, they can't be in two places at once). This frees up your own jungler to make plays elsewhere or even set up a countergank.
Now you're probably worrying about the jungler camping your lane. How do you fix this? WARD. I say it in every single one of my guides, no matter the role: VISION WINS GAMES. If you have full vision coverage, you can back off as soon as the jungler shows his face. And then after you're sure he's left, you can resume pushing and pressuring the enemy bot lane.
Now let's assume the worst case scenario: You weren't watching the map and the jungler managed to gank your lane. Between both your support and you as the ADC, you should have enough utility and damage to at least get out of the gank alive. Actually, if you're ahead enough and the enemy is far enough behind, you could potentially turn a gank into your favor.
The enemy can lose CS to the tower, giving you a gold lead
Because CSing under the turret is inherently difficult, the enemy can lose a lot of CS. If you're constantly pushing the wave into the tower, then the enemy ADC is constantly under huge amounts of pressure to last hit perfectly. Considering this is very difficult to do, even for high ELO players, and they'll end up losing a lot of CS. If you can maintain a good CS yourself, you gain a couple hundred extra gold more than in comparison to the enemy ADC.
You can harass the enemy while they're under tower with no chance of retaliation
Coupled with the last point, you can make last hitting under tower even harder by harassing every time they go up for a ranged minion. Caster minions have a range of 600, which is more than every single ADC with the exception of Caitlyn. If you autoattack every time the enemy ADC goes for CS, then that's about 180 damage for 3 Caster minions.
In the picture, you can see how Miss Fortune just took an autoattack to the face. Vayne knew she could freely autoattack her, because the tower was focusing another target and there was a massive minion wave on her side. Even if the tower wasn't focusing another target, she could have juggled the tower aggro by attacking then quickly backing off before the tower to focused her. As a side note, notice how all of the minions are at different health. Imagine how hard it would be to last hit all of those while someone's attacking you every time you go up.
Is this realistic though? Probably not, because of attack speed limits early game in addition to the enemy actually, physically backing off. However, the point still stands that you can freely attack the enemy ADC without fear of retaliation. If they decide to attack you instead of the minion, they'll end up losing the minion to tower. Plus, your build up of minions will focus them as soon as they damage you, ensuring you win the trade.
With a large build up of minions from pushing, you can easily faciliate a dive
This tactic can be used if the enemy is low on health, has no summoner spells, and your jungler is nearby. If you had previously asserted lane dominance and have been winning trades, then the enemy will most likely have much lower health than you do. In addition to that, learning to time summoner spells is a very valuable skill to have. As a general rule (not counting CDR from masteries), Flash has a 5 minute cooldown, Heal has 4 minutes, and Exhaust has a 3.5 minutes. Having this information is a key ingredient to a successful dive where no one dies.
Finally, a good idea when tower diving is to have your jungler come and help you out. Ping your jungler and let him know that the circumstances are ideal for a dive. While you're waiting on your jungler to get into position, let a massive wave of minions build up, as they'll be useful in terms of both tanking the tower and dealing damage because of the way they focus whoever is focusing you. Finally, as soon as the wave hits the tower, let your jungler/support tank the tower aggro while you dish out damage as fast as you can.
This is one of the major reasons why you need to know exactly what summoner spells your enemy has when tower diving. If the enemy just Heals or Flashes away, then you'll be stuck tanking the tower, and your teammates will probably end up dying. If the support Exhausts you, then you won't be able to deal any damage to quickly kill the enemy.
The video above is an example of a terrible dive. If you notice, they literally followed none of the criteria that I just mentioned: Lots of minions, no summoner spells, and the jungler is in position to engage.
1. Leona engaged on the Caitlyn with no minions around her to help tank tower/deal additional damage.
3. Leona went in without Nocturne, who if you look at the minimap at the start of the video, was still far back in the first bush.
if you might be dived, follow these tips
Big thanks to utopus for bringing these up! I'm just going to quote him from here:
"There are three ways of handling tower dives. The first and probably safest way to prevent a tower dive is to simply not be there. If you and/or your support are less than 33% health, and your opposing laners have full HP and summoners up it is quite possible that you will get dived. If you cannot get outside assistance, the only thing you can do sometimes is to simply farm from behind turret, and if you see your opponents making an offensive move, step back from the turret and run."
"The second way to defend tower dives is to push the minion wave, and do everything in your power to prevent the minion wave from getting to the turret. If there are no enemy minions near your turret, that means that your opponents cannot close the gap between
you and them without taking massive damage from the turret. That extra buffer zone that you have may make it unappealing enough for your opponents to call off a tower dive."
"The third way to defend tower is to call upon outside help. Examine your opponents playstyle, and if you see any sudden changes in playstyle (they switch from freezing lane to pushing hard), then you can expect a dive happening soon. pop a ward in your
bottom lane brush, and ask top lane for a TP gank, or your jungler for a gank, or that your mid laner roam. With succificient communication and cooperation, this method of preventing tower dives may actually convert into a kill in bot lane, or something of the like."/spoiler]
In contrast to pushing the lane, you can freeze the lane instead to deny huge amounts of CS from the enemy ADC. When executed correctly, you can completely shut off the enemy bot lane from getting any farther in the game. However, you must be at enough of an advantage to do this, otherwise they'll just call the jungler and break the freeze (which can result in both you and your support dying). This is can be dangerous because you'll have a large wave pushing towards you, and thus the enemy will have the advantage of the additional minion damage.
PROPERLY EXECUTING A FREEZE
Freezing can also be if you're doing extremely poorly and you've already lost your tower. In this case, you can freeze the lane close to your inner turret, where it is very difficult for the enemy team to reach because of the jungler and mid lane being able to easily rotate over. If this opportunity arises,
you have to choose whether you really need to freeze it, or if you just need to shove it back and take the enemy's tower in exchange. If you decide to freeze, the enemy team might end up roaming around the map and making stuff happen elsewhere. Or in other cases if you don't freeze, as soon as you push up the enemy can just kill you.
So, what exactly is freezing the lane? Freezing the lane is keeping the enemy minion wave pushing towards you in the place that you want it while your support zones the enemy away from the wave. The picture above is an example of a frozen lane. You can see how there's a massive build up of minions, so it will never push towards the enemy. Taric is up in front, keeping away the opposing ADC/Support from coming near by zoning them away from the minion wave.
How do you execute a freeze? What you do is you let the enemy minion wave kill off your own wave, and then tank the minion damage until your own wave catches up. This will ensure that the enemy minion wave is always larger than your own. In the picture on the right, you can see how Taric is tanking until the minion line catches up.
HOW TO ZONE
Zoning is when you prevent the enemy ADC/Support from coming near the minion wave, and subsequently they cannot get Gold or Experience, and can be done when both pushing the lane and freezing. When freezing the lane especially, you must keep the enemy ADC/Support from coming near. Since the wave is pushing towards you, it will never push towards them, causing them to lose detrimental amounts of gold/experience. This is one of the major reasons why freezing the lane is so crippling. You and your support could be level 7 or 8, while the enemy is only level 5 or 6.
BREAKING A FREEZE
Now let's assume the opposite and the lane has been frozen against you. You and your support are falling farther and farther behind, and you can't do anything about it because you can't win 2v2 trades. What you do in this situation is call your jungler. If you cannot win a fight 2v2, then you must break the odds and force a fight 3v2. If possible, you could even get your mid laner to come and help out as well.
The worst thing you could do in this scenario is to just wait for the enemy to start roaming and catching back up. While you are doing this, you are applying no pressure to the map, you are losing massive amounts of gold/experience, and you are essentially condemning your team to a 3v5 later because you and your support are so far behind. Don't be afraid to ask your jungler for help. It's their job anyways to help snowball lanes.
In lane, there are 2 stances that you can take: The CSing stance and the Trading stance. The CSing is stance is where you are safely behind your Caster minion line, farming. The Trading stance is more aggressive, with you standing right next to your melee minions. This is essential to being able to pull off successful trades, simply because if you are not in a position to CS/Trade, then you will take a lot of damage due to overextension. In order to be able to Trade successfully as well as get farm safely, you must learn how to smoothly switch between these two stances.
THE TRADING STANCE
The Trading Stance is when you are at your own melee minion line, next to a dying minion. While you are in this stance, you have to make sure there are no potential last hits. This is very important, because you have to try to not last hit while in this stance. This is because you are very, very close to the enemy ADC, and if you go for a last hit, you will be attacked yourself.
The image above is an example of the trading stance. Notice how Tristana is right next to a dying minion. As soon as Jayce tries to go for the last hit, Tristana can auto attack him for free. This is a very important concept to learn. If the enemy is auto attacking something else (a minion, an ally, a turret, etc.) then there is no possible way for them to auto attack you as well. This concept is the exact reason as to why you cannot stand up at your melee minion line to farm. If you do this, the enemy can freely attack you, and you cannot attack him back.
THE CSING STANCE
The CSing stance is the passive one, where you are trying to safely get farm and as many last hits as you possibly can. You stand back here when there are many enemy minions dying, and you know that you will need to attack someone other than the enemy ADC/Support. However, if you notice the enemy ADC adopting the trading stance, you must be ready for an all-in engage. This is especially true in lower ELOs, because most players will not know the difference between these two stances. If they go for a greedy trade while you are in your CSing stance, they will take massive amounts of creep damage, resulting in you most likely winning the trade. Winning said trade will give you the lane dominance, which can set the pace for the entire laning phase.
In the image, you can see Soraka (it's an ADC Raka, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME FOLKS) standing safely behind her own minions, so Miss Fortune cannot easily attack her without taking minion damage herself. However, Miss Fortune is still standing in the Trading Stance, because if Soraka makes any mistakes, she would immediately be able to capitalize on it and potentially get a kill.
Hypothetically let's say Soraka was actually standing next to the minion that just died. She would instantly get jumped on by both the Miss Fortune and Thresh, most likely resulting in her death. This demonstrates the importance of knowing these both of these stances, and when you are supposed to stand in what. Understanding how all of this works will prevent you from getting caught, as well as minimize the chances of you dying because of bad positioning.
So you've probably noticed me using the term "trade" throughout this guide. What exactly is trading? Good trading is where damage is interchanged between two parties in your favor. Keep in mind as a general rule, Last Hitting is more important the trading. Trading will not get you gold unless you can kill the enemy outright. However, if you can get 2 or 3 auto attacks off in a trade, it is worth losing a CS because you can force the enemy to burn a Health Potion (which is worth 35 gold, almost 2 full minions).
Also, it is interesting to see that when you go for a small trade, the low health creeps will will occasionally stop taking damage. This is because the enemy minions will start to focus you, which leads to your own minions focusing the enemy ADC instead of the low health creeps. If a successful trade is executed, you can harass as well as get perfect CS.
THE CREEP TRADE
This type of trade is when you attack the enemy ADC at the exact same time they try to attack a minion. Briefly mentioned in the CSing and Trading stance sections, this type of trade is short with a very small window of time for you to execute it successfully. Being in the trading stance while doing this is essential.
If you're in the CSing stance and you try to execute this trade, by the time you've gotten into range your window of opportunity will have closed. Doing this most likely will result in you taking a lot of unnecessary damage yourself, from both the enemy ADC/Support and their minion wave. Also, since you were originally getting last hits, executing this at the wrong time will make you lose CS as well.
Revisiting the concept in the last section, the Creep Trade MUST be done while the opponent is using their auto attack, so they cannot retaliate. In the both of the examples shown above, you can see how Twitch is standing right next to a very low health minions, while there are no enemy minions about to die either. He knows that Miss Fortune will try and go for the CS, seeing as she is already running towards it. Twitch had adopted the Trading stance moments prior, and is now in a perfect position to trade.
THE RETALIATION TRADE
The second type of trade is a retaliation trade. This trade is executed when the enemy ADC/Support is focusing another teammate that is not you, so in retaliation you start focusing the ADC. If your teammate is getting aimed, they can’t possibly be aiming for you. This is the exact same concept as the Creep Trade, except you are now executing it on enemy champions.
But Emikadon! If I start autoattacking them, they'll turn on me, right?! No, this isn't always the case at any rank in the game, but it is especially prominent in lower ELOs. Less experienced players will almost always go after the lower target, and will completely ignore anyone who is attacking them because they tunnel vision on killing the Support. Do I mean to just stand there and auto attack? Of course not. As an ADC, it is essential to learning to master a skill known as kiting. This means to attack while moving, and keeping the enemy at a far enough distance to where you are dealing damage, but they can't damage you.
In the example on the left, you can see how the Leona is about to stun Sona. You can also see that Vayne is about to focus her as well. The right thing for Tristana to do in this situation is to attack Vayne. If both Leona and Vayne are using their auto attacks/abilities on Sona, they cannot possibly be
using them on Tristana. So, using Rocket Jump to get past Leona, Tristana immediately starts attacking Vayne. Notice how both Vayne is still turned toward Sona. This results in Vayne getting chunked down to very low health, all the while Tristana is still at almost full HP. You can see the results of this trade in the
next image, where Leona was forced to Exhaust Tristana. If she had not, Vayne would have died. So what was originally a 2v2 engage on Leona and Vayne's part turned into an almost kill for Tristana and Sona. All simply because Tristana knew of the Retaliation trade and punished Vayne for tunnel visioning.
THE EXTENDED TRADE
The third and final type of trade I will talk about is the extended trade. This trade occurs when you push your advantage and continue to attack the enemy even after the window of opportunity has closed. Extended trades are in other words, an All-In Engages.
Normally after executing a Creep trade or a Retaliation trade, you will find that you want to back off because you are low/your abilities are on cooldown. However, if the enemy laners are not strong enough to fight you, you must attack move to stay next to them. Attack moving is auto attacking while simultaneously moving. This will let you constantly reposition yourself, as well as make sure you keep the enemy in range. In addition to this, orb-walking lets you pull off more auto attacks per second, because you are not waiting the full animation of your auto attack. If you want in-depth instructions on how to do this, I highly recommend you watch the video, as it provides many different examples, comparisons, and tactics for successfully orb-walking. Also, don't forget to weave your abilities in between your auto attacks!
HOWEVER. Foxy Riven brought up the point of greed. If you continue chasing the enemy even if they have gotten under tower, sometimes you can get killed yourself. This can be for a variety of reasons: The enemy still had a summoner spell like Flash, Heal, or Exhaust; The enemy jungler came to gank to aid his teammates; The enemy has a global ability (such as Stand United or Cannon Barrage). Newer players tend to turret dive without complete information. Sometimes you just have to settle for burning summoners instead of getting the kill.
Imagine that every champion has a circle around them, and within this circle they have the range and the ability to attack an enemy. Your job as an ADC is to know these zones and avoid standing in both the enemy ADC and Support's zone at the same time. If you step within range of their circles, they can easily engage on you. Vice versa, if the enemy ADC/Support is standing in you and your support's zones, then you can easily engage on them.
FOLLOWING YOUR SUPPORT'S ZONE
One of the major problems newer players have trouble with is overextending. Overextending is when you go too far past your minion line, whether it is for a greedy trade, to poke, or even to get a far out minion. To counteract this, you need to know your support's zone, and be able to follow it. This means that you want to stay within range of your support so he/she can help you, but no close enough to the point where skill shots can easily hit both of you.
The example above is a big no-no. Sona is all the way out (in both Caitlyn's and Zyra's zone!) at the end of the bush trying to poke the Zyra. If Zyra played that correctly, all she had to do was use Grasping Roots to snare Sona, and Caitlyn could easily follow her up and kill her. Varus is all the way in the back in the CSing stance, so he wouldn't be able to help her out at all. This is an example of good positioning on the enemy's part, but not-so-good on Sona's.
On the other hand, the picture on the right is an example of good positioning on both Varus and Sona's part. Since they are on the same line, if one of them is engaged upon, the other will be able to back him/her up. Vice Versa, if they were to engage on the enemy Caitlyn (as demonstrated), then both would be able to contribute to the trade.
KNOWING INITIATION RANGES
Knowing how far away from you the enemy support can initiate on you is extremely important. If you accidentally step into, let's say a Leona's zone, then all she has to do is Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak and her ADC can easily follow up to kill you. The picture on the left is an example of a support's initiation range. Lucian is standing right on the edge
of it, so all Annie has to do is turn around and stun him right under tower. If you look very closely, you can see how Annie has the swirl around her, indicating that her stun was indeed up.
Now we've finally gotten past all of the stuff you need to know for the first 15 minutes or so of the game. By this point, you want to have taken down the Outer Turret, and you want to start roaming to make plays elsewhere on the map.However, you cannot completely abandon your lane! If you notice that the enemy ADC/Support are still bot lane and pushing against you, you have to stop them from taking your tower in addition to roaming to other lanes.
When you do start roaming, your team will also eventually begin grouping up for teamfights. A teamfight is where everyone on your team will fight everyone on the enemy team in a big 5 versus 5 fight. Teamfights usually happen when there are objectives to take, such as Dragon, Baron, Inhibitors, Towers, etc.
NOT OVEREXTENDING AND ROTATING LANES
As an ADC, it can sometimes be dangerous to continue pushing past the Outer Turret, even if you are very far ahead. This may be because your Mid Laner has not yet taken their tower, the enemy jungle has no vision, or even if it's simply because you have no summoners/escape potential. If you do indeed push past the inner turret under these circumstances, you are overextending. Overextending means you moved your champion to a position that is beyond the realm of safety.
Instead of overextending, you can rotate lanes. For example, if you have taken your tower as Jinx and you're the first to take a tower down, you could travel mid lane to take that tower as well. Rotating lanes means to travel from your own lane to the adjacent lane. Doing this, you can take down the tower quickly, as well as pressure the enemy Mid Laner into losing CS/experience.
Alternatively, instead of roaming, you can Splitpush instead. Splitpushing is when you leave the rest of your team to push one of the side lanes and take down more towers. This creates massive amounts of map pressure, because they will always have to send someone to come and stop you. However, when splitpushing you need to note several things:
You need to let your team know that you are splitting from them. This is very, very important. If your tanky initiator isn't aware that suddenly he's in a 4v5 situation, then he could potentially engage a teamfight, only to realize after he's dead what the circumstances were. By making sure your team is aware of the situation, they can pressure mid lane while making sure none of them engage or are engaged upon.
Have everything warded while you're by yourself. Also extremely important. This is because your purpose as a splitpusher is to create map pressure by drawing enemies down towards you. Once you see them heading in your direction, back off so you don't get caught out. The only way to see them coming for you is if you have previously planted wards to spot the enemy.
There are some ADCs who are better at splitpushing than others. For example, a particularly good example of a great splitpusher is Jinx. Because of Switcheroo!, she shreds towards ridiculously fast. Once she takes it down, she can just use her passive, Get Excited! to run away. Plus, if a fight does break out against her team's will, she can shoot her global ultimate, Super Mega Death Rocket! to help her teammates out. Contrast this with let's say, Varus. While he does have a small attack speed boost from his passive, it isn't nearly at the level of Jinx's Q. In addition, he has no escape option; if he's caught out, he's probably dead.
Finally, you need to make sure that by splitpushing, you are not leaving an objective open. What I mean by this is that when you are splitting from your team, no objectives like Baron, Dragon, or even your inhibitor are left for the enemy team to take for free. If there is a Baron fight about to break out, please do not roam down bot lane to farm. Baron buff is much more useful for a longer period of time than an outer turret. However, there are some cases where it might be worth to continue splitpushing. If you can take their inhib, that's a pressured lane for the next five minutes. They might have the buff but they have to defend against super minions as well.
SHOT-CALLING AND TAKING OBJECTIVES
Learning to shot-call is not only a skill that's limited to ADC. Every single player should know how to use this skill, especially if you're ahead. If you're doing extremely well and you know what objectives to take, what champions to focus, where you're supposed to be a certain time, so on. If you think that you have an opening to take Dragon (you killed off the enemy jungler and bot lane is pushing out), ping your jungler to come and take it before your window of opportunity closes.
Knowing your job and what you're supposed to do during these massive, all out fights is crucial. Mispositioning yourself can lead to your death, and a probable loss of the teamfight for your team. Knowing when to enter the teamfight, who to focus your attacks on, or what actives to use; all of this together leads to a lot of different things to think about at once.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN TEAMFIGHTS?
So let's start simple. What is your job as an ADC in teamfights? Your job is to do as much DPS as you can while maintaining a safe distance from the fight. This means that you do not try and get to the back line and kill the squishy ADC. That is the assassin's job. Your job is to stay back and deal as much damage as you can without putting yourself in harms way. If you have any item actives ( Blade of the Ruined King, Youmuu's Ghostblade, etc.) be sure that you use them! They will contribute to your DPS and let you have more of a teamfight presence than you already do. In addition, both of the items mentioned will help you kite and reposition yourself away from any potential threats.
Next question: When do you enter the teamfight? You enter the fight 2-5 seconds after the fight so that the enemy tanks/bruisers/assassins burn through their abilities. THIS IS THE MOST COMMON MISTAKE. I have seen so many ADCs get overexcited and jump head first into the fight, only to be locked down and killed instantly. Be patient! Once you see that all of the major CC spells are blown, enter the fight and deal as much damage as you possibly can. This means from both your auto attacks, as well as any damaging abilities you may possess in your kit.
Generally, you want to kill the front line first, because they'll be the ones that is closest to your champion. Of course, if both the enemy ADC and the enemy Tank are equally distanced from you, by all means kill the ADC because of their poor positioning. However, if the enemy ADC is all the way in the back of the fight with their own support protecting them, attack the tank. Once you've taken down the front line, steadily make your way to the back and clean up any other stragglers.
Where do you stand in a teamfight? Enter the fight from behind your backline and attack the closest high-priority target, while constantly repositioning yourself to stay safe. Don't enter from the side, as this can put you out of position. Also, you must stay with your support. Peeling supports like Sona, Nami, or Lulu need to stay with you to help protect against any enemies that may dive you.
If a tank/assassin does come your way, you need to kite away from them by auto attacking -> moving back -> auto attacking -> rinse and repeat. If you have Red Buff, that'll help a lot because of the applied slow. If you haven't used your active, use it on the threat to take them down faster. And of course, stay next to your support. They'll most likely have items that can benefit your kiting as well, such as Mikael's Blessing, which will clear any CC from you, letting you kite unhindered; Frost Queen's Claim, talisman of ascension, or face of the mountain, which will either slow the enemy, speed you up, or shield you (respectively); Locket of the Iron Solari, which will provide with a small shield to soak up any damage you may take.
A very important mindset to learn is to always take an objective after a teamfight in your favor. It doesn't matter how low you and your teammates are. It doesn't matter that you have 3k gold in your inventory. If there are objectives to be secured, take them. The enemy team is dead, so they can't possibly kill you (Unless there's a Teemo. Then you have to be careful of shrooms).
The point is, if you've won the teamfight, you have to take an objective. If there's a minion wave, go and kill the tower. If there's an open inhibitor, destroy it so that you'll have a pushing lane for the next 5 minutes. If your team is healthy enough, go and secure Baron. The worst thing you can do is all start recalling and waste the free 40 seconds in which the enemy team can't do anything to stop you.
AN EXAMPLE OF AN ADC IN TEAMFIGHTS
If you're super fed and you know that the enemy has already burned important spells, you can feel free to go full ham and wreak havoc upon the enemy team. A super good example of this is Wildturtle playing Tristana in the NA LCS Quarterfinals. In the video above are the highlights of this game versus Dignitas. If you look at the very first clip, it shows Bjergsen and Amazing chasing Crumbzz on Kha'Zix. He has already burned Flash (you can see on the right hand side above his icon) and was only level 4. Wildturtle went WILD and jumped directly on him, because he knew that Kha had no useful summoners and Bjergsen, Amazing, and Lustboy were all right behind him.
Right after that, he proceeded to get the first blood reset on Rocket Jump, and immediately followed KiWiKiD on Braum (who had also just used Flash!) and ZionSpartan on Maokai, both of whom were only level 3. While he didn't get any more kills, he forced them away from the Dragon pit, where Amazing and Lustboy were already taking it. This shows an example of taking an objective after fight: As soon as TSM forced Dignitas to burn through summoner spells and abilities, they went directly for an objective to push them farther ahead in the game.
At 1:41, Wildturtle enters the fight after Shiphtur's Ahri's Spirit Rush and Kha'Zix's Leap, ensuring that their important abilities were burned before jumping in. Notice how he immediately focuses Ahri, who is the champion that is closest to him. However, after that he made a slight mistake by going in too far. Originally aiming for another kill on Kha'Zix, he didn't notice Lucian and Braum in the backline, forcing him to Flash out immediately.
The next fight at 1:54 shows good pre-teamfight positioning on Wildturtle's part, but not so good on Imaqtpie's Lucian. The rest of Lucian's team was still in the Dragon pit, but Lucian was standing dangerously close to TSM. Wildturtle on the other hand though, he was behind his tank ( Nunu & Willump) and right beside his support ( Nami). Once the fight does break out though, he originally goes for Braum. However! As soon as Maokai came up, he switched targets to focus the closest person to him, which was Maokai himself. Once Maokai backs off, Wildturtle attack moves to stay in range and focuses Braum again, who has become the nearest person. As soon as Braum's down, Wildturtle jumps even farther forward, abusing the fact that his enemy had cooldowns on their spells. He manages to pick up Lucian for yet another kill.
I'm not going to go second by second for the rest of the video, but you can see how Wildturtle uses his knowledge of teamfights to melt down the enemy team quickly and efficiently. You are of course, more than welcome to watch the rest of the video for more examples, if you so wish.
You have now learned everything that I can teach you about playing the role ADC. I hope this guide has helped you in terms of game knowledge, and it is now up to you as the player to hone these skills. If you enjoyed the guide and it helped you, please upvote! It always makes my day :) Also if you have any questions, feel free to PM me or leave a comment in the discussion section and I will get back to you ASAP!
PhRoXzOn's absolutely incredible LeagueCraft 101 lectures. I would not be half the player I am today if it were not for him and his videos. Most of the concepts discussed in this guide were taken and adapted from them!
emoriam for his detailed review. You can find his review here and his shop here.
Foxy Riven (again. you're so helpful bby :3) for his in-depth review.